I am blessed to have a husband with a green thumb. In early spring, he nurtured a variety of tiny plants from seed and we have been enjoying the fruits of his labor all summer. We’ve had more lettuce and collard greens than we could ever eat, and plenty of snap peas, squash, onions, and garlic. After a long wait, our tomato bushes are finally beginning to turn scarlet with ripening tomatoes. If you have never enjoyed a home-grown tomato, I strongly encourage you to try to grown your own, or find someone that does. There is nothing like a ripe, juicy tomato right off the vine. Here is a quick recipe for a healthy and easy snack, appetizer, or side dish.
Ripe tomatoes (use several different varieties; heirlooms are especially delicious)
Balsamic vinegar (choose a bottle from Modena, Italy)
Fresh basil leaves (small basil plants are inexpensive and will thrive in a sunny window)
Chop tomatoes in bite-sized pieces (no need to remove the seeds) and place in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes (enough to coat the tomatoes), then add the fresh basil leaves. Stir to coat the tomatoes, then let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes (or longer, if you can stand to wait). Serve with fresh cracked pepper, to taste, and enjoy! This dish is also excellent with fresh mozzarella or shredded parmesan.